This article examines these issues as well as Descartes’ own response to this problem through his brief remarks on how the mind is united with the body to form a human being.
This article examines these issues as well as Descartes’ own response to this problem through his brief remarks on how the mind is united with the body to form a human being.This will show how these issues arise because of a misconception about Descartes’ theory of mind-body union, and how the correct conception of their union avoids this version of the problem.Tags: Short Research ProposalMorality Of Capital Punishment EssayWork Cited Page For Research PaperAssessment Essay QuestionsProper Citation For Research PaperReading Book ReportReflective Essay ThesisBath Spa University Creative WritingHomework Log TemplateEmerson College Creative Writing
Being sphere shaped is a mode of an extended substance.
For example, a sphere requires an object extended in three dimensions in order to exist: an unextended sphere cannot be conceived without contradiction.
But a substance can be understood to exist alone without requiring any other creature to exist. That is, its existence is not dependent upon the existence of minds or other bodies; and, a stone can exist without being any particular size or shape.
This indicates for Descartes that God, if he chose, could create a world constituted by this stone all by itself, showing further that it is a substance “really distinct” from everything else except God.
Accordingly, any dispositions a swallow might have, such as the disposition for making nests, would then also be explained by means of this ultimate goal of being a swallow; that is, swallows are disposed for making nests for the sake of being a swallow species of substance.
This explanatory scheme was also thought to work for plants and inanimate natural objects.
For this reason, a brief look at how final causes were supposed to work is in order.
Descartes understood all scholastics to maintain that everything was thought to have a final cause that is the ultimate end or goal for the sake of which the rest of the organism was organized.
Although the credit for setting the stage for this scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy dominant at Descartes’ time should go to Thomas Aquinas (because of his initial, thorough interpretation and appropriation of Aristotle’s philosophy), it is also important to bear in mind that other thinkers working within this Aristotelian framework such as Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Francisco Suarez, diverged from the Thomistic position on a variety of important issues.
Indeed, by Descartes’ time, scholastic positions divergent from Thomism became so widespread and subtle in their differences that sorting them out was quite difficult.